There were big smiles all round at the NMT Awards when Family First scooped the ‘Nursery Business Development Award’, recognising our outstanding achievements.
We were chosen from all the newcomers across the industry for the significant growth of our business, now standing at 40 nurseries.
The award, sponsored by nursery management software providers Connect Childcare, was presented at the NMT Awards, held at the Hilton London Metropole on 20 November 2021, in front of more than 800 colleagues from our profession. It was given by former Eastenders actor Shaun Williamson, who played Barry Evans,
The criteria focused on how Family First’s launch had been outstanding and benefited the children, staff and local communities. The judges said: ‘In a very closely competed category, we chose Family First as winners on account of the way that it has been able to successfully scale through acquisition in such a short timeframe while genuinely being able to bring the staff along, protect local brands while enhancing the proposition for parents, and drive financial performance.
“The judges have first-hand experience of how difficult it is to balance quick growth with maintaining and improving performance. As such, Family First’s achievements and continued ambitions are highly commendable.”
Family First CEO Ollie Humphries said it was a fantastic evening and gave the team the opportunity to celebrate all the hard work and achievements of everyone from across all our nurseries.
“When Covid hit, it helped us really focus on our core values and identify how we can grow in the right way,” he said. “We have a clear strategic direction which focuses on quality and building on some of the amazing journeys that these individual nurseries have already been through.
“We take the time to learn from every individual that we come across on this exciting journey, and absorb the insights of those selling their businesses to us.”
Family First Chief Childcare and Operations Officer Dianne Lumsden-Earle agreed: “It was a phenomenal achievement to be recognised for our growth as well as maintaining the quality of our service. We are on a journey and are growing as a company but we will not compromise on quality or standards in any of our nurseries.”
Ollie added: “Our childcare team, led by Dianne, know the key ingredient is child safety and fulfilment and this is constant across all our nurseries. We have a strong childcare support committee made up of our internal experts and the people we have worked with over the last two years.
“Family First is not just a name for us but a core ethos that allows us to constantly remind ourselves what is important as we grow. We are taking some of our owners on this journey way past the point of the nursery passing to our care. It’s great to be recognised at the NMT Awards for the special ethos that we have throughout Family First.”